- Free Agents
- 2013 Top 30 NHL Free Agents
- 2013 UFA Centers
- 2013 UFA Defensemen
- 2013 UFA Goalies
- 2013 UFA Left Wingers
- 2013 UFA Right Wingers
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- Vancouver Canucks
- Washington Capitals
- Winnipeg Jets
Archive for category NHL Entry Draft
- Elliott Friedman of CBC: Friedman mentions again about the Avalanche turning down the Flames offer of all their 1st round picks for the 1st overall pick. They rejected it quickly as it didn’t contain a player that is NHL ready. Friedman wonders if the Flames made the same offer to the Panthers, Lightning or Predators.
The Avs may not want to go below No. 3. The Panthers may not want to go below No. 4 if anywhere at all. The Lightning and Predators could be the same.
The Hurricanes at No. 5 could be ready to deal. They would get a very good player at No. 5, but would top 4 defenseman with experience and term may be a better option from where they sit? The Oilers had talks with the Hurricanes, but they may have cooled.
One source on the Hurricanes, ”some players who were previously untouchable may no longer be untouchable.” Doesn’t include anyone with the last night Staal.
The Stars, Red Wings and Maple Leafs have contacted the Panthers about trading for Stephen Weiss’ negotiating rights if the Panthers can’t re-sign him. The Devils could also be a possible destination for Weiss.
Speculation that the Stars could target Jarome Iginla. The Kings are another. Friedman wonders about the Coyotes/Seattle with the Shane Doan connection.
John Tortorella and John Stevens will have second interviews with the Canucks.
Maple Leafs and Tyler Bozak contract talks aren’t going that well. GM Dave Nonis took a hard line with Leo Komarov and may be doing the same with Bozak. He could be saving his cap space for someone, either it be Weiss or somebody else.
- Ansar Khan of MLive: The Red Wings and Pavel Datsyukappear to be close on agreeing to a multi-year contract extension. It can’t be official until after July 5th. Datsyuk’s agent, Gary Greenstin flew to Detroit yesterday to meet with Holland. Datsyuk tweeted last night “Big day tomorrow …”
“I hope very soon,” Greenstin said. “Everybody knows what Pavel Datsyuk means to Detroit and what he likes about the Red Wings. We’re still talking. Contract cannot be registered with league until July 5. We can negotiate a deal so we have one (before July 5).”
- Gary Lawless: Zach Bogosian’s agent confirms that he spoke again with the Jets last week.
- Ken Wiebe: The Jets haven’t had any talks with RFA defenseman Zach Redmond. Redmond’s agent did say that he continues to progress from his bad skate cut, ”He’s doing great and he feels great.”
- Ken Wiebe: UFA defenseman Derek Meech’s agent, JP Barry, has spoke with the Jets several times and will do so again before free agency starts on July 5th.
- Bob Stauffer: Oilers defenseman Mark Fistric will options. Stauffer thinks the Oilers should re-sign him as they need his size.
- Gare Joyce: On the Flames offer of all 3 1st picks for the 1st overall pick. Flames would pick Nathan MacKinnon over Seth Jones as a it’s position of need. “Trade would never get made. Picks and a player of established value, then a discussion. Otherwise non-starter.” Sean Monahan would be the Flames fallback with the 6th selection. Could look to Nashville at No. 4 to get Aleksander Barkov. The Flames don’t have ’that’ player of established value to make the deal. The Hurricanes could be the wildcard as they are not taking Valeri Nichushkin. They might take Barkov if he’s there. They are looking for immediate help.
- Adrian Dater: Dater has heard along that if the Avalanche trade down from the 1st overall, they still want to remain in the top 3. To trade down, the Avalanche also want a very good established player or two, as well as the 2nd or 3rd overall pick. The Panthers and Lightning have the 2nd and 3rd overall picks, and are not really interested in giving up an established player plus their own pick to get the 1st overall. Dater thinks at this time, it’s more likely that the Avalanche will keep the 1st overall pick. There was no chance the Avalanche would accept the Flames offer, as they hate the Flames for the Ryan O’Reilly offer sheet.
- John Vogl of Buffalo News: The Sabres are trying to move up from the 8th overall pick in this year’s draft, according to their director of amateur scouting, Kevin Devine, “We’re really trying to move up.” To get the No. 1 pick, the Sabres could make a deal with the Predators at No. 4, then make a deal with the Avalanche for the No. 1. The Sabres also have the No. 16 pick, a pair of 2nd round picks (No. 38 and 53), as well as Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek.
“The preliminary talks are that everybody’s talking about our young players to move up,” Devine said during an appearance on WGR 550 AM. “We’ve got to decide if it makes sense to move some of those players to move up. So it’s a difficult conversation, but if you’re really honed in on one guy and he can be a franchise changer, then you have to look at it.”
Apologies for the site being down today, server issues that were out of my control. Here is what I would have posted this morning if I was able too, all in one giant post.
- Darren Dreger: The Flyers are working on a Mark Streit deal, as well as holding preliminary discussions with Claude Giroux on a contract extension.
- Josh Rimer: Red Wings sign Drew Miller to a 3-year deal worth $1.35 million per season.
- Szymon Szemberg: Former Flyers goalie prospect Joacim Eriksson has signed with the Canucks according to Swedish media and his agent.
- Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports: Andrei Kostitsyn will be staying with Traktor Chulyabinsk of the KHL according to reports.
- Gare Joyce: A scout said that Aleksander Barkov can get into the top 3, and maybe the most NHL ready. “Different conversation if he doesn’t get hurt late in yr.”
- Aaron Vickers: Flames GM Jay Feaster said that the NHL has asked the KHL about Valeri Nichushkin’s contract status. Nichushkin is free to sign an NHL entry-level deal and is not under contractual obligation with the KHL.
- Bob McKenzie: Kings assistant John Stevens had interview with the Canucks this week. He’ll also be interviewing with the Rangers.
- Pat Leonard of the NY Daily News: Mark Messier has had an interview with the Rangers.
“We were out in La Quinta, (California), and I had a chance to talk with Glen on a couple of occasions,” Messier told the Daily News outside the United Center on Friday. “I expressed my interest and my confidence in my ability, and from there that’s all I can really say because I don’t know much more than that, because he’s conducting interviews with many more people that obviously want the job, as well. So he’s going through the process, which he should.”
- Aaron Ward: Alain Vigneault has told the Stars that he no longer wants to be considered for their coaching position. Speculation will be that he’s heading to the Rangers. Renaud Lavoie: Alain Vigneault is on the verge of being the Rangers next head coach. Darren Dreger: The Stars are believed to have had a substantial offer on the table for Vigneault until he met with Rangers Dolan and company.
- Mayor Sly James: (the Mayor of Kansas City talking about the NHL) “Folks, I have no issue with having a team in Sprint, provided it is the right deal and there is local ownership. We don’t have that package” … “Would have to sell out very game with Coyotes to be mid-pack in attendance in NHL. Tough act.” … “not many cobwebs in 1 of the top 5 booked arenas in the country. We make $$ now. Not w/ most teams” … Responding to what some of the limiations are: “Tkt cost, limited corp sponsors, practice time and lost bookings, need to subsidize, lease restrictions, work interruptions, ownership, under performing team, etc etc”
- Damien Cox: Sidney Crosby’s agent is convinced that Zdeno Chara intentionally punched Crosby where his jaw was broken.
- Dan Rosen: Senators Daniel Alfredsson said he hasn’t started thinking about if he’ll play next year or not. Will need a few more weeks.
- Mark Spector: Flames GM Jay Feaster won’t consider buyouts. He’d have trouble getting veteran UFA’s to replace the ones he bought out.
- John Shannon: “Can confirm that RSE has agreed in principle to lease terms with City of Glendale on an arena lease.” David Pagnotta: “The tentative lease agreement bw city of Glendale + RSE will b presented to city council on Tuesday, upon which its expected to get approved.” John Shannon: “Rennaissance S and E agreement in principle with Glendale is for 15 years…but requires Council approval. Its not a certainty.”
- The Fourth Period: Source saying that the Flyers will buyout Daniel Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov. Briere would be owed $3.333 million over four years. Bryzgalov would be owned $23 million over 14 years, about $1.642 million per year. On Bryzgalov
“They don’t want to play for him or with him,” the league source said.
Buying Briere and Bryzgalov out would create $12.166 million in salary cap space. The Flyers are still interested in Coyotes Keith Yandle. The two teams discussed a deal at last year’s NHL Draft. GM Paul Holmgren could also be looking for top six forward, either signing or through trade.
- Craig Custance of ESPN: Penguins GM Ray Shero’s commented that his priority is to sign Kris Letang, but didn’t rule out a trade. It may take a $6.5 million deal for eight years to remain in Pittsburgh. On the open market he may get a max term deal at between $7 and $8 million.
“The feeling from those I spoke with on Thursday is that Letang will sign an extension with Pittsburgh. It’s a similar situation to Staal in that the best move would be to trade him if there’s not a deal to be struck, but it’s different in that the Penguins don’t have two other world-class defensemen already on the roster the way they did at center last year.”
Letang didn’t have a great playoffs, but that wouldn’t scare teams away.
“Not a chance,” he said. “If they put him on the market, 29 teams would bid on him.”
The return for Letang in a trade would be huge. He could be used to get into the top part of this year’s draft. The blueline is the one area the Penguins have some organizational depth.
The Lightning could use a Letang and could offer the 3rd overall pick in a package. The Oilers need help on the blueline and have been offering up the 7th overall pick. Letang may be too similar to Justin Schultz’s skill set for a deal to make sense for them. The Ducks could be an interesting option with Bobby Ryan and potentially two number one goalies in Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth and top goalie prospect John Gibson. Gibson is from Pittsburgh. The Sharks may not have the assets to land Letang. The Rangers could use a right handed defenseman, but they may not have the depth to make a deal.
- Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: If the Blackhawks can’t re-sign Bryan Bickell, keep an eye on the Canadiens.Look for the Bruins to sign Patrice Bergeron to a long-term extension.The Kings have spoken with 10 teams about Jonathan Bernier’s availability. Could be traded before or at the draft.LeBrun thinks that Alain Vigneault will be the coach of the Rangers or Stars.
The Canadiens won’t be making Carey Price available.
- Dallas Morning News: Stars GM Jim Nill on the draft:
“I know historically to move up at the draft it costs you assets and we’re trying to build up assets,” he said. “Unless it was just something that I thought was a no-brainer, we’d move up, but I’m very comfortable where we’re picking and I know we’re going to get a good player.”
“It’s a good draft,” Nill said. “There’s a lot of good players and there’s going to be a lot of good players in the second round. It’s a strong draft. … There’s good forwards, there’s good defensemen. If you want smaller, skilled guys, they’re there. If you need some bigger power-forward guys … it’s a good variation of players.”
On other changes:
“I think we’re going to be active,” he said. “I know I need to make changes. We need to get … our team has to get better. That’s my game plan — I need to make some changes. It’s going to be different.”
- TSN: The Flames currently have about $19 million is salary cap space and could get another $5.8 million if Miikka Kiprusoff retires. The Flames have three first round picks (#6, #22 and #28).
“I don’t know that it’s feeling the pressure as much as it is recognizing the importance of it,” Feaster said Friday at Scotiabank Saddledome.
“The importance of this draft is not lost on the organization and it certainly isn’t lost on the management of the organization.”
“We have had extensive conversations with teams about moving up into the top five in the draft,” Feaster said. “We at least know which teams are willing to do something and if they are, what it would take to do that, and also which teams are not willing to do that.
“The one thing I believe with the pick at six, we want to get a player who has the opportunity to come in here right now and compete for a job. We really like this draft. We think at 22 and 28, we’re going to be happy with the players who are still on the board.”
The Flames need size and talent down the middle, size to the backend of their blueline and a scoring right winger to replace Jarome Iginla.
“I talked with him just this week,” Feaster said. “We’re going to continue to give him time. I think if we had to say ‘You have to make a decision today’ I’m not sure he’s ready to play right now.
“We’ve made sure he knows we’ll wait for him to be sure of what he wants to do.”
- TSN Insider Trading: Jonathan Huberdeaushould be in Chicago today, likely to win the Calder Trophy.Alex Ovechkin is believed to be the winner of the Hart Trophy.The Blue Jackets and Sergei Bobrovsky’s camp will talk next week.Video of Zdeno Chara punching Sidney Crosby in his injured jaw in Game 1 of the Bruins-Penguins series (click TSN Insider link above).
Morning Hits: Bickell, Canucks, Rangers, Top 3 draft slots, Gudbranson, Duchene, Flyers, DiPietro and the Islanders
- Elliotte Friedman of CBC Sports: The Blackhawks would like to re-sign Bryan Bickell for around $1.5-$2 million a season, but he would get more than that if he hit the open market.
The Canucks will interview former Stars coach Glen Gulutzan. LA Kings assistant John Stevens could get an interview. Dallas Eakinsmay get a second interview.
Rangers GM Glen Sather will wait and see what happens with Dave Tippett.
On the Avs first overall pick: ”To pass below (No. 3 overall) will take a heck of an offer, something we are going to say … no choice but to take it,” Roy said.
Patrick Roy said they’ve already reached out to Matt Duchene about starting contract extension talks.
It would take huge offer to get the Panthers to move down from No. 2. One executive has heard that the Panthers and Lightning could be talking Erik Gudbranson for the No. 3. Friedman mentioned it someone who said “nothing to it.”
The Coyotes are looking for offense.
Hide your RFA defenseman from the Flyers.
Guillaume Latendresse could end up in Europe.
The Islanders are telling teams they would make it worthwhile if they took Rick DiPietro. They would take a bad contract in return, and might include picks or prospects. One GM said it would have to be one heck of an asset.
Tim Thomas’ agent, Bill Zito, said it’s “status quo.”
- Dustin Leed: Last summer the Flyers were in trade talks with prior to the Shea Weber offer sheet. It could heat up with the Blues this summer. The Blues won’t trade RFA Alex Pietrangelo, but something could be worked out involving RFA Kevin Shattenkirk.
- Arthur Staple: Staple doesn’t think the Islanders will be trading for Roberto Luongo. At age 34 and a killer contract, it’s not worth giving up the assets. Sense is that the Islanders will go to training camp with Nabokov/Poulin/Nilsson as their goalies. On the blueline, Matt Donovan likely to fill Streit’s spot.
- Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun: There is talk that as many as 10 teams are thinking about their goaltending situation. Among the teams thinking No. 1 goalies are: Flyers, Panthers, Oilers, Capitals, Sabres, Blues, Lightning, Flames, Wild and Islanders.
Names to watch: Ryan Miller (BUF) – one year left on his deal. Coyotes could be a fit. Mike Smith (PHX) – a UFA and uncertainty of organization is keeping him from re-signing. Ray Emery (CHI) – UFA. Won’t get a long-term deal but may get a shot at being a No. 1. Tim Thomas(NYI) – UFA who may get a pro tryout.
Rangers GM Glen Sather is giving Mark Messier serious thought as their new head coach. They are also interested in Alain Vigneault.
Ducks GM Bob Murray is getting calls for Bobby Ryan. They’d like to keep Ryan who has two years left at $5.1 million. The Flyers and Senators have been interested in the past.
There have been no talks between Ron Hainsey and the Jets.
Oilers GM Craig MacTavish has been working the phones and looking for immediate help. Could be willing to move some of their young assets. Talk that they might trade Nail Yakupov to bring back a package.
Alain Vigneault appears to be the top candidate for the Stars, Lindy Ruff for the Canucks.
- Michael Smith of CarolinaHurricanes.com: New Hurricanes logo coming today. The Hurricanes currently sit at No. 5 in this year’s draft. They won’t be trading up, but haven’t ruled out moving back. GM Jim Rutherford will target a top 4 defenseman in free agency or through a trade.
“It’s hard to say. It could come in any manner,” Rutherford said. “It could come in the form of a player that we trade for as a projection who hasn’t done it yet but we think could do it now. It could come in the form of a projection of a (Ryan) Murphy jumping in the top four. It could come many ways, but I do feel that’s an area we have to change.”
- Michael Arace of the Columbus Dispatch: Blue Jackets Sergei Bobrovsky will be a RFA, and it’s possible that his agent is willing to look at offer sheets. The KHL could also offer a pile of money. Talks between Bobrovsky’s agent and the Blue Jackets haven’t gained traction as his agent, Paul Theofanous, wants to wait. Bobrovsky would be worth more if he wins the Vezina and/or gets offer sheet and/or a KHL offer. There is a chance that the KHL money is too much to pass up. Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen has said they will match any offer sheet.
- Josh Cooper of the Tennessean: The Avalanche (No. 1) and Panthers (No. 2) have already said they could move their picks for the right price. The Predators at No. 4 are keeping their options open.
“We’ll entertain offers. We’ve already had people inquire with us about it and vice-versa,” assistant general manager Paul Fenton said. “We’ll talk about whatever position that can improve us for the whole big picture of things.”
Still, Fenton was cautious: “In order to move up to that position, you’re going to have to make an offer that you can’t refuse.”
- Jonathan Willis of the Edmonton Journal: It’s unlikely that the Oilers at No. 7 would be able to move up to the Panthers No. 2. What makes it a difficult is the drop off in talent from the top two players, Seth Jones and either Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin. Usually there is a bigger drop off between the top two picks.
- Jonathan Willis of Oilers Nation: If the Oilers are looking to move back and add a player or a few more picks, the Blue Jackets might be a trade partner if they want to move up to grab someone. The Oilers draft at No. 7 with the Blue Jackets holding the No.14, No. 19, No. 27 to 30 and No. 44. Potential players the Oilers could look at are: R.J. Umberger, Ryan Johansen, Boone Jenner, James Wisniewski, Fedor Tyutin and Nikita Nikitin.
Morning Hits: Callahan, Hagelin, Eakins Canucks, Avs, Horton, Richards, Sharks, Leafs and the Hotstove video
- TSN: Both Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin had shoulder surgeries on Friday to repair torn left labrums.
- TSN: The Stars have been granted permission from the Maple Leafs to interview Marlies coach Dallas Eakins. Eakins has received head coaching interest from the Canucks and Rangers, and associate coaching interest from the Oilers.
- Antti Raanta: “I’ve made my decision!” (I don’t think any NHL team/insider has made it be known that they are Raanta’s choice. The Wild, Jets and Oilers had expressed interest.)
- Jason Botchford of the Vancouver Province: The Canucks will have a busy month: deadline for their AHL team, the draft, free agents and buyouts. The buyout period starts 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Final and Canucks candidates are Keith Ballard, Roberto Luongo and David Booth. Booth likely wouldn’t be medically cleared, so a buyout wouldn’t be possible. If the Canucks have any leverage left with the Luongo situation, it may be gone by July.
- Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe: Dupont wonders if Patrick Roy will push Joe Sakic to trade the first overall pick, possibly targeting Kings Jonathan Bernier. Highly unlikely that the Bruins will be able to retain Nathan Horton with the salary cap going down. Looking like the Rangers will amnesty Brad Richards. It could be an interesting summer in San Jose with Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Dan Boyle all entering the last year of their deals. Not likely to happen, but Thornton may look good in Toronto with Joe Colborne as his understudy for the next 2 or 3 years. Thornton may be able to help Phil Kessel hit the 50 goal mark. If Ryane Clowe wants to remain with the Rangers, he might have to take a pay cut from the $3.625 million he made this season.
- Cody Nickolet: Elliotte Friedman said that the Avalanche would consider trading down but it would have to be an unbelievable offer to move out of the top 3.
Free Agent Notes and Draft Signings: Wings, Rangers, Red Wings, Senators, Leafs, Sharks, Islanders and Coyotes
- Ansar Khan: Pavel Datsyuk said he wants to sign a contract extension with the Red Wings. He’s looking forward to playing with the Wings beyond next season.
- Katie Strang: The Rangers haven’t started contract talks with Henrik Lundqvist. It’s not that surprising since it’s early and can’t officially sign before July.
- Ansar Khan of MLive: The Red Wings will have Blackhawks Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg on their free agent radar. Bickell’s stock may be rising, but Stalberg’s may be falling a bit.
- Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun: Brennan thinks that the cost of acquiring a player like Bobby Ryan could cost the Senators Jared Cowen and maybe Mika Zibanejad. Ryan has two years left at $5.1 million. Brennan thinks that making a trade that doesn’t involving giving up their best assets may be the best route to go, or signing a lower-risk free agent. Bruins Nathan Horton will likely want $5 million, a little much for a someone who may be one concussion from retirement. Blackhawks Bryan Bickell would make a lot of sense for the Senators. Bickell shouldn’t cost any more than $2.5 million a season, maybe three-years and $8 million. Worst-case scenario for the Sens is that he signs with the Leafs.
- Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star: The Maple Leafs should look back on the Blackhawks salary cap situation and learn from it. The Blackhawks kept and overvalued Dave Bolland and traded/undersold Andrew Ladd. The Leafs need to figure out how much they want to spend on their centers. Mikhail Grabovksi is paid like a top center at $5.5 million and Tyler Bozak could demand that much. RFA Nazem Kadri will be looking for a big raise as well. The Leafs may not be able to afford both Grabovski and Bozak, so one may have to go. Compliance buyouts may lead to Brad Richards or Vincent Lecavalier becoming free agents and better bargains.
- David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News: Sharks UFA Raffi Torres wants to remain with the team and the feeling may be mutual.
- Jon Rowson: The Sharks have all but signed Tomas Hertl. Hertl has a contract with Slavia for next season, who want to keep their star.
- Arthur Staple: The Islanders have made offers to draft picks Jesse Graham, Loic Leduc, Adam Pelech and Ville Pokka. The Islanders didn’t make offers to Brenden Kichton or Mitchell Theoret, so both will re-enter the draft.
- New York Rangers: The Rangers signed their 2011 5th round pick, defenseman Samuel Noreau.
- Sarah McLellan: Without new ownership, the Coyotes budget won’t increase, which doesn’t faze GM Don Maloney.
Draft Hits: Tallon open for offers, “a lot of high end talent”, Monahan attending five camps, Nichushkin wants NHL
- John Vogl of the Buffalo News: Panthers GM Dale Tallon isn’t actively shopping the 2nd overall pick, but he’s open for offers.
“We’re in good position,” the Florida Panthers’ general manager said this morning at the NHL scouting combine. “We’ll take advantage of it.”
Tallon has already had a couple of short talks about the pick.
“You see what they’re willing to pay, and that’s the fun part of the job,” Tallon said. “I’ve had a couple of mild conversations here and there this week, ‘Are you going to move the pick?’ Make me an offer. That’s the way it goes. You start the process early, and you work it all the way through till the five minutes before you make the pick, maybe a minute before the pick.
“Colorado’s in the driver’s seat right there, and we know we’re going to get a hell of a player at two or three or four. It’s a deep draft. We’ve already drawn a line in the sand. We’ve gone through every process and every situation with our staff already this week, and we’ll continue to rehash this throughout the month of June. We’ll be ready for any and every situation on June 30.”
- Tony Ambrogio: From the draft combine a scout said that the top 10 picks are as good as he’s seen in years with ”a lot of high end talent.” Another scout said that there are 8 to 12 players who could play in the NHL next season.
- Mark Masters: Draft prospect Sean Monahan will attend camps held by the Sabres, Maple Leafs, Devils, Flames and Oilers.
- Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times: Russian draft prospect Valeri Nichushkin’s agent, Mark Gandler, said he is serious about playing in North American next season. Gandler confirmed that Nichushkin’s two-year deal with Moscow Dynamo of the KHL has been terminated. The deal was terminated with the condition that if he doesn’t make the NHL, he’ll return to the KHL.
- Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press: Red Wings forward Mikael Samuelsson will need off-season shoulder surgery. Jimmy Howard was playing with a pulled hamstring which happened at the end of the Ducks series. Niklas Kronwall injured his shoulder in the Blackhawks series and injured his hand against the Ducks. Daniel Cleary had a second-degree separated left shoulder and fractured left finger.
- Craig Custance: Red Wings Valtteri Filppula suffered a high ankle sprain in Game 7.
- Adam Kimelman of NHL.com: The Panthers hold the No. 2 pick in the draft and they hope that their pick will be able to play right away.
“We’re hopeful,” Tallon told NHL.com. “We’re going to be a young team. It’s going to be a necessary part of our puzzle moving forward. I would hope the guy we select can play for us next year.”
“It’s a pretty evenly balanced draft,” Tallon said. “Looks like there’s an equal number of forwards and defensemen that are very good. We have four picks in the first 97, so we feel we’re going to get four really good players and really fix our depth chart.”
- Bob McKenzie: The NHL draft will be June 30th, starting at 3 pm ET with all 7 round.
- Matt Kalman: Bruins coach Claude Julien on Andrew Ference: “he’s obviously on the mend. But not ready to say he’s ready to go yet.”
- Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News: A source has said that the Dallas Stars have talked to Lindy Ruff about their vacant head coaching position. GM Jim Nill is expected to talk with Alain Vigneault and Texas Stars coach Willie Desjardins. Nill said that he’ll have both casual talks and official interviews while he’s in Toronto at the draft combine.
- Joe Haggerty of CSNNE: It was a “prove it” year for Tuukka Rask as he took over the No. 1 job from Tim Thomas. He was left off the Vezina Trophy ballots after posting the third best save percentage (.929) and fourth best goals-against average (2.00). Rask will be getting a nice big contract this summer and GM Peter Chiarelli thinks it’s easier to sign guys after they’ve had a successful season.
“I’m happy for him that he’s playing well and he’s helping the team,” said Chiarelli. “It’s always easier to sign these guys after success. He’s showing some resiliency, which I like, and some durability, which I like.
“I liked [Rask's] big saves. We had some real good games where, I’d have to go back and look, but I think we had a chance in every game.”
Rask could be looking for a 5-6 year deal in the range of $5-$6 million per season. Comparables could be Jimmy Howard’s $5.291 million cap hit and Carey Price’s $6.5 million cap hit.
- Larry Brooks of the NY Post: Brooks thinks the Rangers need to lock up defenseman Ryan McDonagh before the Flyers are able to sheet him after buying out Ilya Bryzgalov. Brooks wonders if the Devils have any choice but to give Patrick Elias whatever he wants. Pascal Dupuis could be one of the most sought after free agents, but will he take less to remain with the Penguins?
- Adrian Dater: Avs center Paul Stastny is in the last year of his deal and has a $6.6 million cap hit. Dater is sure “the Avs would get a whole lot for him.”
- Adrian Dater of the Denver Post: Nathan MacKinnon outplayed Seth Jones and Jonathan Drouin. You obviously don’t draft someone based on a couple of games. It seems like a “damned if they do, damned if they don’t” scenario on deciding between Jones and MacKinnon. Down the middle the Avs have Matt Duchene (not going anywhere), Ryan O’Reilly (can’t trade until Feb. 28th next year) and Paul Stastny (RFA after next season, could be moved). They need more help on the blueline than another young forward.